When you become a parent, you need to learn a few lessons fast. One of those lessons is budgeting, and the good news is, it’s the easiest lesson of all. We’ve put together five ways you can save on baby stuff and be smart with your money as you embrace this time in your life.
Avoid shopping online excessively
It might be tempting to sit on your couch and browse webpage after webpage of things you think you’ll need but that can burn a hole in your wallet. A lot of baby clothing sites have a minimum purchase order amount that you need to meet for free shipping. This means you’ll end up spending more than you need to. Shop online for things like baby formula, diapers, and wipes. Avoid shopping for toys and clothes.
Save on diapers
You’re going to need a lot of diapers but there are budget hacks when it comes to procuring this baby essential. Buy them in bulk at sales and try a couple of different brands. Always compare the price per unit (divide the total by how many come in a pack) so you have a good idea of whether a brand is worth the price.
Ask your employer about child-care programs
You might find out that you’re eligible for an employer-provided Dependent Child Flexible Savings Accounts, which means you can use pre-tax money to pay for child-care.
Buy convertible gear
Items that grow with your child or are multi-purpose are the best purchases you’ll make. That means you should buy a crib that converts into a toddler bed, a car seat that doubles up as a rocker, and a stroller that can be used as a high-chair.
Say no to new clothes
For the first year of your child’s life, they will spit up (and worse), and your child will outgrow things fast. Use clothes that were gifted to you, shop second hand, and attend clothing swaps, or use the FreeCycle network to swap out clothes your baby outgrows. You’ll save hundreds of dollars.